Monthly Archives: October 2009

Broken Biscuits – Part 1#

Writing a blog means you get a disproportionate amount of emails giving away free music, some good, some bad, some presented behind an impenetrable wall of PR guff, some with no explanation or justification at all as to why I should listen to them. It’s not unwelcome of course, but I rarely get the chance to post a fraction of the music I receive. Sometimes that’s because most of the music isn’t very good, but more often than not it’s because I haven’t the time.

So, that’s where Broken Biscuits comes in. Basically I’ll be hoovering up all the spare crumbs at the bottom of biscuit (or cookie) jar and throwing them into one nutritious post. Some of the bits are more morish than others, but from week to week (or however regularly I can/decide to do this) you should get at least get one new track from a new artist that you quite enjoy.

Let’s get things under way.

1. You’ve Got The Love – Florence and the Machine (XX remix)

The original is an unarguable classic, the Florence and the Machine cover – not so much. However, this goes some way to repairing that damage. Not strictly a remix, nor a complete reworking, it subtlety adds to the cover’s mood with some menacing sub-bass, laid-back, half-mumbled vocals that act as the perfect counter-point to Florence’s powerful which is cut-up and ‘glitched’ across the song’s understated climax. I never noticed how much the harps sound like the opening to Muse’s Bliss, either. A great track.

2. On My Way – The Sweet Serenades

Nervy, full throttle Swedish Power-pop. Your first thoughts probably immediately gravitate towards The Hives, and, to be honest, you’re not far off. Thundering drums, needly and nervy guitar lines perfect for the dancefloor and largely nonsensical and often wordless lyrics made for rhyme rather than reason. It probably won’t be your favourite song of the year, you probably won’t even remember it by the end of the year, but it’s a fun ride whilst it lasts.

3. Swimming – Mystery of Two
4. Repeat It
5. French Rocking Horse

Much more muscular rock this time. It’s still very much on the Indie side of the rock devide, but there’s some nice instrumental breaks and distorted guitar here. The singer seems to be trying to do his best David Byrne impression at times. Swimming is probably the pick of the three tracks.

6. Pirates – Penfold Gate

A four-peice Indie band from the Midlands with distinct storytelling lyrics. You’re probably thinking of The Arctic Monkeys, and, to be fair, you’re not far off. Only in this case the lyrics are no where as sharp and there’s a little less of that glorious instrumental interplay that marks the Arctic Monkeys out from being just another indie band. This track shows potential, though

7. New Wife, New Life – Truman Peyote

Frolicking afro-pop Foals/Vamp Weekend esque reverb drenched guitars, vocal harmonies, indistinct electronic rumblings and a recording of children playing. Quite Animal Collective. Great band name, too.

8. Passion III – Crash Overdrive
9. Hips, Lips and Microchips

Justicey, Daft Punkish Electro-House. You know the drill.

10. Santa Ana – Pi
11. New Shoes

Pi is a really awful artist name to have; in the sense that it sounds like pie, which is silly, that any search for said name is never going to result in the artist being the no.1 result until they’ve made it ridiculously big, ridiculously big enough to be bigger than a mathematical constant used to understand the fundamentals of the universe itself.

Anyway, Pi (eurgh) is some nice acoustic strummyness. Not really my cup of tea if I’m honest, but if you like sightly flowery singer-songwriterness, this could be for you.

MP3: Florence and the Machine – You’ve got the Love (XX remix)
MP3: The Sweet Serenades – On My Way
RAR: Broken Biscuits Mix 07.10.09

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Vampire Weekend – Horchata

Sorry for the lack of updates on the site in the past few days; I think I might have to treat myself to weekends off now I’m back at uni – too much reading and work to do that doesn’t involve scouring my inbox for new tracks or keeping abreast of the latest news in the pop world.

Anyway, I think it was a couple of weeks back that I commented on the upcoming release of Contra, Vampire Weekend’s sophomore effort. Back then I had to make do with a lossy live recording of an appearance on Jimmy Fallon or something or other. Now we have an actual studio track kindly given to us by the band themselves on that rather picturesque teaser site.

Horchata is a slightly strange and awkward affair, but in a good way, I think. It’s the only way you can really describe a song that opens with a couplet like ‘In December drinking Horchata/ I look psychotic in a balaclava’ yet retains the simplistic pop vibes of the original album without sounding all together the same.

The afropop influences are a little watered down, instead of tight, funky guitar lines we get soaring vocals, tinkling glockenspiel, the lush, stately orchestration of M79, and stuttering drums; it’s pretty much the aural equivalent of (what I presume is) that Pacific skyline. The slightly clunky opening lines might not have the same singalongability of tracks like Oxford Comma or One (Blake’s Got a New Face) but it’s a promising opening and shows the band retaining elements of their trademark sound but not being afraid to push it forward a little.

MP3: Vampire – Horchata
Websitehttp://www.vampireweekend.com/

Grizzly Bear & Victoria LeGrand unveil Twilight track ‘Slow Life’

Infront of a particularly loud and obnoxious audience, no less.

MP3: Beach House – Gila
MP3: Grizzly Bear – Knife

Animal Collective remix Phoenix

One of the best artist’s of the year remixing the one of the best artist’s of the year.

Nice.

From Pitchfork:

Animal Collective’s Josh “Deakin” Dibb had this to say about the track: “Phoenix has been a staple for all four of us since Dave [Portner, aka Avey Tare] and Noah [Lennox, aka Panda Bear] brought home United from the record store they used to work at. One of the records that would get us through some of those long cross country tour drives, we’ve listened to Phoenix’s jams many many times. We were all totally psyched to get asked to do this and it was super fun to work on it. All the best to those dudes.”

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Remix Collection) is due in digital form in the U.S. via Glassnote/Loyauté on October 13. UK followers will be able to buy the remix record as part of a Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix 2CD set out October 19.

Both parts I and II of Love is like a Sunset are one of the more organic jams on what is, for the most part, a highly wound and perfected portion of new-wave poppy goodness. It’s already halfway to being a Animal Collective remix in its original form. The slow instrumental layering, those warm fuzzy-felt synths, the nervy, interlocking guitar ticks and the cavernous break before the song’s triumphant crescendo of the song’s first part makes its title seem strangely, perhaps intentionally, ill-suited. The second part serves as a relieved coda to the ominous soundscape of the first; warm acoustic guitars take the fore and we finally hear a human voice. It’s an excellent mini-symphony that lies at the heart of a very pop album, a welcome pallet cleaner, a chance to clear your of those saccharine pop hooks for a few minutes before the album throws you straight back under.

The remix – as you’d expect from Animal Collective – makes it a little more alien, disorientated and generally disembodied from any human aspect the original had; AC’s fascination with the voice as an instrument runs deep here. The trails of Mar’s vocals tail off into the songs milieu and reverberate endlessly into a wordless mantra that creates a hazy, all enveloping wall of sound on which the song eventually rides out on once its initial spacey keys and tight drum groove are drowned out under it. It’s still Phoenix, but it’s also very Animal Collective. Perfect for late night introspection, as opposed to the original’s ‘new dawn’ optimism.

MP3: Phoenix – Love like a Sunset (Animal Collective Remix – Deakin’s Jam)